NCFM has reported extensively on the false rape case of Mariposa rancher Jerry Cox which precipitated the bizarre “receivership” action (government land grab) in which Mr. Cox’s 430-plus acre ranch was forcibly taken presumably because of over 100 highly questionable, if not trumped-up and false, Health & Safety Code violations to ease the legal theft of Jerry’s property.
Now that the County’s trickeries are publically visible, the County is moving fast to force the sale of the ranch to pay roughly $300,000 in fees requested by California Receivership Group (CRG) administering [sic] the property. Yet, for the past six months, CRG has not remedied the violations that by law CRG must do. Meanwhile, Mr. Cox is broke and homeless thanks to the false sexual assault and related allegations, which facilitated the receivership land grab.
On Monday, January 22, at the Mariposa County Superior Court, Judge F. Dana Walton may order Jerry to pay the $300,000 or force the sale of his ranch, knowing the County’s position is based on highly suspect actions including, but not limited to possible collusion, suppression of evidence, malfeasance and a slew of probable criminal actors.
Over the past few months, NCFM corresponded with Mariposa County offices and officials. We asked, among many other things, why Mr. Cox was wrongly prosecuted; his false accuser, Ashley Harris, has not been arrested and charged, why evidence was mishandled and suppressed, why related search warrants were sealed, and why the County was so determined to force his land into receivership.
Suspiciously, all criminal charges against Mr. Cox were dismissed within a few days of his property being put in receivership. Based on evidence that existed at the time, Mr. Cox should have been cleared and set free within the first few hours of arrest, if not earlier. Yet, prosecutors dragged the case on for nearly two years. Court records show Mariposa County DA’s office’s pattern, practice and failure to comply with discovery requests and reckless mishandling of evidence. Even more suspiciously, Ms. Harris seems to have disappeared. Do Mariposa County officials know where she is?
Because of our investigation and many related new articles, NCFM received calls from Mariposa County residents sharing information about other acts of alleged Mariposa County corruption, mismanagement and malfeasance. It seems some, if no many, residents live in fear of losing their homes and properties. At least one reported being in hiding for fear of being beaten or murdered. One caller told us, “People in Mariposa are fearful of speaking up against decades of corruption, lest they just disappear, never to be heard or seen from again. What when on in the 80’s, still goes on today.”
Mr. Cox’s engineers and attorneys recently conducted a thorough inspection of the ranch. Their professional and thorough assessment do not support receivership. It appears the charade around the theft of Jerry’s ranch may involve rented cabins; or, nefarious benefits to ownership by others, like the ranch’s close proximity to an airfield and possible cultivation and transportation of drugs.
It appears CRG retained the law firm of Silver & Wright to represent Mariposa County. Indio and Coachella criminally prosecute building and safety violations and retain Silver & Wright to prosecute the cases. Typically plea agreement results. One man agreed to cure violations and pay a $900 fine. He had six months to withdraw the agreement. A few days after the six months elapsed, he received a bill from the law firm of Silver & Wright for $26,000. He protested and they increased it to $31,000. Worse, according the article in the Desert Sun, residents were billed up to $122,000 in prosecution fees for minor crimes (like tall weeds). Additional code enforcement fees, administration fees, abatement fees, litigation fees and appeal fees can run the bill up to $200,000. It appears a similar legal scheme may be in play against Mr. Cox.
Indio defense attorney; Leonard Cravens, who represented one of these defendants said, “It’s absolutely a scam – you can quote me on that.” “They pick the most expensive way to get the job done, in criminal court, because it’s all about the money.” In a sworn statement, Cravens called the fees “unreasonable, unconscionable and intended only to enrich their own pockets.”
Mariposa County has a sordid history including the murder of Sheriff Deputy Ron Van Meter who exposed drug dealing within the department under Sheriff Paul Paige (deceased) AKA “Boss Hog.” In 1984, Sheriff Sergeant Rod Sinclair driving recklessly while under the influence prescription drugs, killed three Secret Service Agents in a head on collision riding ahead of a motorcade for Queen Elizabeth II. A federal investigation revealed over a two-year period Sinclair was given 1,250 doses of Seconal, and then known as “Red Dolls” the Oxycontin of its day. According to a New York Times article, that doctor who doled out the drugs was Arthur H. Dahlem M.D. (deceased), thought to be the father of current County Counsel Steven Dahlem. In 1986, an L.A. Times article stated that the Yosemite National Parks Superintendent, Robert O. Binnewies was fired, which “was precipitated by low ranger morale and a long-standing conflict over how major crime investigations are conducted in the park.” Furthermore that, Binnewies (the father of current Sheriff Doug Binnewies) “came under fire after one of his rangers alleged that drug investigations under the superintendent’s supervision had been mishandled.” The article, also noted a number of lawsuits and labor grievances filed.
Books like “The Last Circle,” and “The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro,” and other articles describe deeply entrenched corruption in Mariposa County. We have heard, but not confirmed, that at least one of the authors fled the country in fear of their life. Mariposa County residents have told us they live in fear of losing their homes and property at the whim of county officials. One resident said, “Mariposa residents are fearful that if they speak out against Mariposa County government corruption, that they might one day, just disappear, never to be heard or seen from again.” Many people we spoke with told us that Mariposa County is just as corrupt today as it was when ABC 20/20 reported on the corruption in 1991.
Is this a concerted effort and criminal conspiracy by Mariposa County officials and others to deprive a man of his life, liberty and property and exploit criminal actions and so-called property “code” violations for commercial gain? Might the scheme rise to the level of a Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) cause of action? On the other hand, is it simply the Peter Principle at work in Northern California? High-level ineptness in action perhaps. Maybe some combination thereof, which could help explain the bungling, albeit extremely dangerous and destructive. Maybe they just thought Cox would roll over and nobody would notice. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe some of these bad actors should be cleaning latrines in prison. Maybe they will…
According to our investigation, court documents, and numerous articles, books, comments, and inquiries by concerned citizens show that there have been a number of federal corruption and drug investigations involving Mariposa County officials and others. We cannot confirm whether there is an ongoing federal investigation; however, if you have information about corruption in Mariposa County please reach out and contact the FBI Field Office in Fresno, especially if you have information about those officials named in this article. The address, telephone hotline number and online link are below.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Fresno Field Office
7815 North Palm Avenue
Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: (559) 436-4474
Regional Corruption Hotline: (855) 466-7243
U.S. Code, RICO: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-96
“Mariposa County 20/20 – Corrupt County” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvG6Y1w_Le4
“The Last Circle” manuscript: https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/last_circle/1.htm
“The Last Circle:” https://www.amazon.com/Last-Circle-Casolaros-Investigation-Software/dp/1936296004
“The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro”
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/04/16/us/around-the-nation-investigator-in-crash-tells-of-tranquilizers.html
L.A. Times: http://articles.latimes.com/1986-01-29/news/mn-1173_1_ranger-force
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1981/08/27/us/around-the-nation-yosemite-staff-accused-of-embezzling-for-drugs.html
L.A. Times: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-12-06/news/mn-10860_1_fresno-county
The Desert Sun: http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2017/11/15/he-confessed-minor-crime-then-city-hall-billed-him-31-k-his-own-prosecution/846850001/
Mariposa Gazette: https://www.mariposagazette.com/articles/coxs-attorneys-question-ability-of-receiver/
NCFM Letters not yet published
1) November 11, 2017 Letter from the District Attorney’s Office in response to our letter that was handled as a Public Records Act Request.
2) November 27, 2017 Letter from County Counsel Steve Dahlem in response to NCFM’s letter to the Board of Supervisors.
3) December 13, 2017 NCFM Letter to County Counsel Steve Dahlem in response to original letter to Board of Supervisors.
4) December 22, 2017 Letter from County Counsel Steve Dahlem.
5) January 5, 2018 Letter from Steve Dahlem re Public Records Act Request.
Mariposa County Moves to Sell Jerry Cox’s Ranch After Fake Rape Case Is Exposed – Receiver and County Want Cox to Pay Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars; No Work Performed – Refuse to Provide Transparency
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